Q+A: 5 Minutes with Dante Klein

Grab a coat and slip on your wellingtons because producer Dante Klein is taking 2022 by storm. Not only has he released a striking new house record, titled ‘La Musica’, but has also announced that, moving forward, he will be releasing his music under his very own record label by the name of Garden Party Records. The all-new imprint seeks to promote records suited to the club experience, adding the growth of dance records to its mission statement. Between ferns and palm trees, Dante Klein takes to the decks, and we caught up with him to find out more about the man, the mission, and most importantly, of course, the music.

Stream / Download: ‘La Musica’

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

I’ve always been a kid with big dreams. I wasn’t sure in what direction I wanted to go in life until I got inspired by dance music when I was around 14 years old. While sitting in the car with my dad this song from Tiesto – Elements Of Life was playing on the radio. We didn’t know what hit us and we went crazy for 8 minutes straight. From that moment on I knew I wanted to do something with music. 11 years later here we are, releasing my latest club track ‘La Musica’ on my own brand new independent record label ‘Garden Party Records’. The combination of being creative, producing new things, and being an entrepreneur gives me a lot of motivation. The smiles on people’s faces when I’m performing live is the thing that gives me the most energy of all.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

It depends on the situation and the direction I want to go in. Some days you feel uninspired and I’m just on the hunt for great sounds and just see if ideas pop up. Other days I come up with a great idea first and work that out later on while I’m searching for the right sounds. With ‘La Musica’ it was the idea first. I already had the midi recorded with a particular sound and I was just scrolling through a preset bank in Omnisphere.

Suddenly a mallet-type sound popped up and it sounded great with the melody I already played. It took the track in a whole different direction from what I had in my mind but that’s just how inspiration works. You think you know what you are doing but sometimes the best tracks take you in a direction you didn’t expect.

We are really focused on our club sound at the moment, and ‘La Musica’ is just a hint of what’s about to come.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

No, it’s an original track.

What’s on your current playlist?

Well, I feel really inspired lately since we’re heading in a new music direction which feels amazing. So my current playlist is full of underground house tracks, grooves, and also a lot of fresh tech house tunes to get inspired.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

The energy, the special moments, the smiles on people’s faces are why I’m doing this.  Playing that massive build-up for example and seeing everybody raising their hands before the drop even started is the best feeling in the world. Lately, I’ve tested a lot of new club/tech house tracks and the crowd’s response is so good, that I realize I only get this euphoric feeling when I’m on stage. It’s all about energy and being in the moment.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

I like to be led by the process. I try not to let any preconceived ideas of how it must sound exactly get in my way. Of course I have a direction I want to go in but, as I mentioned earlier, often it turns out to be something very different from what I had in mind (that can be positive or negative). I save all of my work even if I think it sounds like crap. Months later I can hear something I did that I thought was bad and suddenly have an idea of how I can make it work.

The main goal is that the music has to get people dancing straight away and has a groove or melody that catches their attention.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

This is a great question. A perfect studio day starts around 2 pm: coming together with my team and pitching some ideas to start with, back and forth. Mostly we start working on the idea we like the most and are unapologetically honest about what it lacks and how to make it better.

Around 6 pm, we’re starting to get hungry and search on Uber Eats for something healthy. We always end up ordering pizza and ice cream. After dinner, we start working on the track again. Tweaking the sounds, the mix, and the arrangement until we think it sounds perfect only to come to the conclusion the next day that it sounds like shit and the process starts over again. But, thankfully, in the end, we get the job done.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

Of course I had this moment. It all started with childhood dreams and just playing around in my bedroom with the smallest DJ set you could possibly think of. It wasn’t that serious at all. Once I realized, after the age of 16 and doing some real gigs for some money, I could make a living out of this I said to myself ‘I’m going to pull this off’.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

Two things! A backup USB in case something goes wrong with the ones I’m playing with and my phone to film euphoric moments when there is no videographer.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

Crusy is killing it lately. Volaris just released a banger which I play in every set and Mau P, not to forget with his track ‘Drugs From Amsterdam’.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

I really get inspired by multiple things like listening to live sets from other DJs, preparing live sets, and going out to parties with friends. But somehow I feel the most inspired after some days off with a lot of sun. I really feel recharged in those moments and ideas pop up like crazy.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

I’m working in Ableton Live for years now. My favourite synths are Serum, Arturia collection, Omnisphere, Nexus, and my favourite mixing plugins are Fabfilter, Melda, Softube, and UAD.

Any side projects you’re working on?

We’ve just launched our brand new independent record label ‘Garden Party Records’.

It takes a lot of time and effort to build it into what we’ve envisioned it to be but it gives us a lot of freedom regarding the release of the tracks we want to put out there.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

I think we all do right? We keep learning every day trying to get the best out of ourselves.

That’s how we keep refining our craft. As long as I’m passionate about what I’m doing and curious about what others are doing, I’m motivated to become better every day.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

Almost every month a new club release! That’s what you can expect. We got so much music lined up ready to be released on Garden Party, it’s ridiculous. Be ready for some bangers in the coming year(s).

Famous last words?

I’m not ready to write my obituary yet. Ask me again 70 years from now.

Follow Dante Klein:

WebsiteFacebookTwitterSoundcloudYoutubeInstagramSpotify TikTok

Image credit: Lisa Van Dam (@bylisavdam)